Australia & NZ
15 Wonderful Gems in Tasmania
The wilderness of Tasmania is a hefty UNESCO World Heritage Site that comprises nine national parks, close to 14,000 km2 and, notably, some 20% of the island. Unfortunately, when it comes to Tasmania, many travel scribes refuse to deviate from here and repeatedly propose the same points of interest. Yes, we love Hobart and Launceston and the national parks are a conclusive must. But can someone offer some specifics?
We can oblige that request, happily. With that, discover fifteen wonderful gems on the “Island of Inspiration”.
The former penal colony at Port Arthur is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Convict Sites of Australia. The small town of 500 is a bona fide open-air museum.
Just 10 minutes from Hobart by car (though by bicycle is much, much more memorable), Kingston Beach is a first-rate family spot for fun in the sun and a picnic.
Crescent Bay, Tasman Peninsula
Home to epic panoramas and fairy tale scenery, Crescent Bay is a furtive gem not on any official maps. From Hobart take the Arthur Highway and turn on to Safety Cove Road – the drive takes a good 90 minutes.
Lake Dulverton, Oatlands
The bellwether landmark of the historic colonial village of Oatlands is one for the digital camera as well. Sandstone cliffs and a wildlife sanctuary make Lake Dulverton a must.
Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, Hobart
The magnet of Hobart’s Domain is on the verge of a bicentennial and, beyond stellar botany, hosts a bevy of cultural events.
Frederick Henry Bay
Frederick Henry Bay is home to excellent Carlton Beach and two lifesaver surf clubs. Both Carlton and Red Ochre Beach deserve a visit in good weather.
Organ Pipes Walk, Mount Wellington
A good nature path is the best way to get up and close and personal with the soul of Tasmania. The Organ Pipes Walk up Mount Wellington in Hobart – three-hour return, with a climb of 400 m over almost 2 km – is one of the best.
Russell Falls may be famous but the landmark in Mount Field National Park is seldom overrun. Be sure to pencil in time for Horseshoe Falls and Lady Barron Falls as well.
The Gordon River is a lifeline in Tasmania and a crucial element of the island’s UNESCO World Heritage wilderness. Whether you navigate it by pleasure craft or simply follow it in the national park system, be sure to include it on the old itinerary.
Hogarth Falls in Strahan is the place to see wild platypus in Tasmania.
Coal Mines Historic Site
The Coal Mines Historic Site in Little Norfolk Bay is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Convict Sites of Australia.
Devils Kitchen to Waterfall Bay
This level two walk is a 90 minute thrill-hike past a dramatic line of coast and cliffs.
Maria Island National Park
Some 70 km off of Hobart, Maria Island is a small, under-the-radar national park that was active in the colonial convict era but is now famous as a vital BirdLife International Important Bird Area.
Douglas-Apsley National Park
A relatively new national park, Douglas-Apsley is another Important Bird Area some 150 km from Hobart. A gorgeous 160 km2 swath of wilderness.
The Tamar is a bucolic valley and wine region northwest of Launceston that supports about 20 vineyards on both sides of the Tamar River.
Where to stay in Tasmania: